Happy Snapping! Or is it? Snapchat, the highly popular mobile messaging app, launched its new feature SnapMap on June 21 to all iOS and Android users. The game-changing new feature allows you to share your location on an interactive map in real-time. In its introductory video of Snap Map, the location of Snaps is shared to Our Story, making it public. While this is great for viewing Snaps from events at any location, it could potentially be a double-edged sword.
To access the Snap Map interface, update Snapchat to the latest version and pinch the Snapchat camera home screen. Once you access the Snap Map interface, you can choose to share your location with your friends, some of them, or none at all (Ghost mode).
What is however, not notified clearly is that in case you do decide to share your location, your updated location can be viewed on Snap Map every time you open the app, even though you may not have Snaps to share to Our Story.
The potential dangers of inadvertently sharing your real-time location cannot be overlooked. The precision with which your location can be seen makes it even more risky.
It doesn’t help that many children and teenagers are on Snapchat, who could be stalked if their location is broadcast. You might not even want to share Snaps, but could simply open the app to view Snaps or ping a friend, but your location can still be viewed on Snap Map. Creepy.
The safe thing to do would be to enable Ghost Mode, which many are being advised to do. This hides your own location from the public, although you can view others’ locations. To enable Ghost Mode, select “Ghost Mode” in Snap Map’s initial walkthrough.
If you have shared your location and now want to enable Ghost Mode, tap the cog or Settings in the top right corner while on the Map and select “Ghost Mode”.
Snapchat’s new feature may be quirky, but you should probably maintain your guard.